Aristotle, Poetics (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Arist. Poet.].
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1461a.1 In another case, perhaps, there is no advantage but "such was the fact," e.g. the case of the arms, "Their spears erect on butt-spikes stood," [Note] for that was then the custom, as it still is in Illyria.

As to the question whether anything that has been said or done is morally good or bad, this must be answered not merely by seeing whether what has actually been done or said is noble or base, but by taking into consideration also the man who did or said it, and seeing to whom he did or said it, and when and for whom and for what reason; for example, to secure a greater good or to avoid a greater evil.

Some objections may be met by reference to the diction, for example, by pleading "rare word," e.g. οὐρῆας μὲν πρῶτον, for perhaps he means not mules but sentinels. [Note] And Dolon, "One that was verily evil of form," it may be not his deformed body but his ugly face, for the Cretans use "fair-formed" for "fair-featured." [Note] And again "Livelier mix it" may mean not undiluted as for drunkards but quicker. [Note] Other expressions are metaphorical, for example: Then all the other immortals and men lay all night in slumber," while yet he says: "Yea, when indeed he gazed at the Trojan plain Agamemnon Marvelled at voices of flutes . . ."



Aristotle, Poetics (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Arist. Poet.].
<<Arist. Poet. 1460b.20 Arist. Poet. 1461a.1 (Greek) >>Arist. Poet. 1461a.20

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